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Fort Madison Could Raise Water Rates

Fort Madison, IA – The cost of water could be on the rise in Fort Madison. The city council has approved the second reading of a proposal to increase water rates. Residential and commercial rates could increase about 24%. Industrial and wholesale rates would also go up. City leaders say the new revenue will eventually be used for improvements to the city's water system. That could include building a new water plan, upgrading the current facility, or purchasing water from Keokuk by connecting a water line between the cities. Fort Madison sells about 45% of the water it produces to Rathbun Regional Water Association, which provides water to rural Lee County residents. One idea discussed during the council's recent meeting is to charge Rathbun more, so the rate hike on Fort Madison residents could be reduced. The council must approve the increase one more time. It would take effect in April. City leaders say a rate hike of nearly 40% is likely at this time next year, in preparation for any construction project.